Manifestos are dangerous

First: thanks to everyone who still comes here and reads and comments. I’m really grateful for all of you even if I haven’t been able to show it consistently in the last eighteen months.

The actual topic: I’ve been thinking for months, really, about if and what I want to be blogging. This post is probably most owing to a comment SueBC made here and my thoughts about a response. Why don’t I blog that way anymore? This is a very abbreviated form of what I’ve been thinking about. (Hopefully it’s also as neutral as I can make it, insofar as the point isn’t to anger anyone.) The danger is first that I articulate all this stuff and somehow still can’t find the time and energy to blog, and then second, that I don’t live up to what I’m saying here. But nonetheless, this piece seems to belong here now.

1. I am drastically out of synch with most of the fandom as I perceive it (at least the Armitage-oriented pieces of it – I don’t experience issues with the stuff that occurs apart from that).

1a. There are some discussions I am no longer willing to participate in, in the form in which they repeat themselves year after year. I have said all I have to say about certain topics, in some cases long ago. It seems pedantic either to repeat myself or to link to things I wrote years earlier, particularly if I’m not interested in continuing or developing the discussion.

1b. There are things I’d like to discuss but don’t (for reasons like not having time to articulate a point, fear of being misunderstood or creating anger, thinking I am the only one who cares anyway).

2. The more active conversations occur on Twitter, but apart from private conversations, I have grown to view Twitter as largely a vile soup of marketing, kitsch and aggravation. (Two months spent largely away from it have revealed to me just how paralyzed as a writer multiple exposures daily were making me feel.)

2a. Richard Armitage is not doing himself any favors with his social media. While I seem to have survived the realization of my worst fears about him, Twitter has given rise to a new one: the possibility that Armitage is frighteningly conventional. I think this is not so much a product of Armitage himself as it is of the medium, which itself seems to push participants in the direction of increasingly conventional, unnuanced expression, perhaps because so little can be said (see point 2).

3. The process of following Armitage news is increasingly one of consuming and responding marketing, as there is practically no actual news.

4. At the same time, there’s so little quality work on the horizon that the surfeit of marketing means all discussion more or less amounts to the production of even more marketing (“buzz”), something for which I’ve expressed my distaste many times. The level of discourse spirals to the bottom (see point 2). As someone said to me recently, as a fandom, we used to have a lot of creativity and periodic disagreement. My own take in response: in the face of fear of (or fatigue due to) disagreement, we have primarily “safe” creativity and almost no discussion around it. This is as much my fault as anyone else’s.

5. And as fodder for a more creative discourse goes, I’m weary of consuming bad art and explaining why it’s bad. (At least when I grade, someone pays me for it, and there’s the hope that someone might be listening.) This difficulty is particularly acute for me in terms of Armitage’s audiobooks. (Add to that the fact that Amazon is clearly an unethical, abusive employer and my feeling that giving money to Audible is putting my wages in the hands of thieves only increases.) Of (I believe) seventeen audiobooks in the last two years, in my opinion, only two (or perhaps three) projects were worth doing artistically, and one (maybe two) of these I can’t access in any format that’s really convenient for me. I can’t bring myself to spend any more time on my reactions to the Joy Ellis novels (poor quality) or Armitage’s reading of them (big misstep, imo). The badness of much of Berlin Station did have a certain humor quotient, but it became ever smaller as time went on and the show became more frustrating. There are also the increasingly hard-to-see movies that may be worthwhile but just aren’t available without significant effort and/or to most fans (Urban & the Shed Crew; The Lodge; My Zoe; Arden’s Wake; the Korean project). And I hate feeling like Armitage’s projects aren’t worth my time, money or attention.

5a. The project most likely to be artistically significant this year is yet again something with restricted access, determined by fans’ abilities to make the trip to London.

6. There isn’t going to be another actor for me after Richard Armitage (or at least it doesn’t look like it now). KellyDS wrote an excellent description of how celebrity fangirling works for her that I find exemplary, and I think will make a lot of people nod, but that even as I read it, made me think, this is not the path I am on.

6a. In fact, I think I’ve already had / am having my post-Armitage crush, generated by the movie, Rocketman. But it’s not a crush on Elton John, just as the Armitage infatuation was only tangentially about Armitage.

7. The continued observation of the news / marketing stream (“Richard Armitage tangentially related”) has become odious to me. In addition to my lengthily articulated views about the destructiveness of focusing on marketing, this development may be occurring because Armitage is no longer an “organizing hunger” for me (referencing a paragraph below from an excellent recent novel, Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts):

Despite (8),

9. I continue to appreciate and be provoked and stimulated by Armitage’s work, when the project is worth my time. The artistic crush is still alive, despite the flood of mediocre projects of the last years.

10. I continue to be interested in Armitage the person and the way that he makes his creativity work. The personal crush is still alive, despite the haze that social media have blown over it.

11. I still have an active fantasy life as relates to both the actor and the characters and as my reaction to SueBC’s recent post reminded me, I don’t see them as substitutes for each other. They are intertwined in my mind.

12. I am still immersed in various pieces of Armitage-related fan fiction.

13. In the current season of my life I have practically no time at all for creativity outside the classroom, but all the non-educational creative impulses I have had recently were owing to some aspect of my Armitage infatuation.

14. The initial purpose of the blog, when I thought I was writing for myself, to clarify my reactions, and for a very few other people, was self-exploration. That rationale persisted for a long time, but I practically never write posts like that any more. I know why I don’t write them. I wouldn’t say the reasons don’t matter — because they have almost silenced me — but it’s not worth enumerating them here. I need to change. if I am to continue blogging I need to go back to that level of curiosity, honesty, and openness, cultivating it in myself and to the extent that there continue to be readers here, in the audience as well.

Be it therefore resolved:

In future, I will try:

–to blog only “news” (or marketing) that interests me for some reason and to stop absorbing the various ill humors exuded by social media;

–to return to the theme of my Armitage crush as the opportunity for fantasy as a source of creativity, and critical analysis as a source of self-exploration and self-understanding;

–not to waste my time (or feelings of obligation) on responding to projects that don’t give me anything;

–to post only about things I feel strongly about, and to write about them only honestly.

[If you read all this: thanks for reading.]

~ by Servetus on November 8, 2019.

74 Responses to “Manifestos are dangerous”

  1. My answer: “Thanks for writing this”.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good post

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  3. This is so well put! I’ve been reading your blog for several years and having watched your writing evolve over time, it’s interesting to see how your feelings have changed written out in this post. I’ve also come to similar conclusions recently re: projects he works on that I have no interest in or access to, as well as the repetitive discussions happening in fandom that I don’t care about having again, so it’s also nice to see that I’m not the only one feeling that way.

    Honestly, one of the things that keeps me coming back to your blog is your personal posts, so even if your approach to blogging changes, I’ll still be interested in your thoughts.

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    • Thanks. I really do want to keep blogging no matter what happens. I also really want to keep blogging with Armitage. We’ll see. I got home tonight and discovered that the senior helper had rearranged our kitchen cabinets (perhaps out of boredom). I hate that my life is being eaten up by minutia at the moment but I’m going to have to make sure keep clearing space for myself.

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  4. Nichts zu danken. Immer wieder gerne 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  5. that excerpt from the novel really stood out to me. I keep reading it over and over! blogging about Richard wasn’t a bad life for me, I was just bored. I’ve found the something I needed to scratch my itch, I hope you do too, weather that be a renewed vigor for Armitage, maybe from a different angle, or weather it’s something altogether unknown. as long as you keep writing it down, I will keep reading 🙂

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    • It’s a good novel; I would recommend it.

      I’m glad you’re still here! I think my problem is that over time (for reasons that are probably obvious to longer term fans like you) I started self-censoring. It extended from self-censoring due to the complaints of people who hated me to self-censoring due to my awareness that some or many of my friends might be bothered by what I was writing, i.e., I became more allied with my friends’ points of view while I was under barrage, and then started not to have the energy to take risks that would challenge the boundaries of friendships. In short: I’ve gotten too afraid of what other people think. This year has been especially bad because also on the personal front there’s stuff going on that I can’t blog about. And what’s the point of the blog if I can’t express myself? So I’m hoping I’ve now cleared some space for myself in that regard. Thanks for your support!

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      • I self censor myself too all the time, in my offline life, and it’s something I struggle with. I want to be authentic, and dare to allow others to see what I’m about, but yeah. There are many reasons, and everything regarding other people is so much smoother if you simplify. But that isn’t what I thrive with, and now and then it makes me feel so disconnected to not be able to express myself irl. I do to an extent online. But I find myself having feet in “different worlds” and it’s like, I put things in different little boxes figuratively speaking, and sometimes I wish so much that I didn’t have to compartmentalize and “store things away” so much.
        I wish it was easier to not care so so much dammit.
        I’m relatively new to the RA fandom, I got into it properly with Thorin even though I’d fangirled over him earlier with Gisborne. But I can relate to the being a long time fan (of another artist) and the way it’s different now to say 8 or 15 years ago, and the things that the new fans discuss are things that have been already talked about so many times. And that’s the way of fandom I guess. It is great to see the new ones enthusiasm. But when you’ve lived with something for so many years, it is different, and of course you feel different about it. It’s like a relationship. But like you’ve yourself said, more between yourself and how you relate to a thing, and what it inspires in you. And then sharing/exploring/experiencing that with people who are also touched by the same thing. In different ways. Fandom is interesting ey 😀
        I never really got Twitter either. It’s too short, brief, chaotic.
        I know I don’t often comment, but I’ll keep reading as long as you’re writing, Armitage or not!
        I hope you understand what I mean, I am not a writer, or native English speaker.
        Love, Eilenna.

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        • We had a tiny wave of new fans in conjunction with Berlin Station, and it turned into a low level problem. I had people judging me for my attitudes, and telling me that I was doing it wrong and … I snapped more than once. I’m not sorry. But there definitely is such a thing as “advanced fandom” vs “beginning fandom.”

          I’m happy that you keep reading and i totally get how tiring it can be to write a comment in a foreign language and worry if you’re saying it right. It’s another facet of the problem you raise about integrating one’s identity vs. suppressing parts of it. I wish I could read all the languages so everyone could comment in her own!

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          • At the time of confidences, I am taking risks.
            My colleagues say that I am too kind and optimistic, hoping until the end for the arrival of unachievable events. The film “Atonement” seems to tell us that perhaps only books or works of fiction lead to a happy ending.
            Do you both know this English movie, an adaptation of Ian McEwan’s book? The director uses a particular method: showing the same scene from two different points of view. That of the victims and the witness. To quote M Hale in N/S about appearance and reality, something like: “not to trust appearances that can be sometimes misleading”…
            A question tapped me this week, recently following the conviction by the French justice of a man who did not denounce his neighbor. The child victim died. To remain a passive spectator, is it to be guilty? By extension, to keep the peace within the fandom and to avoid being fired, the wisest solution would be to not make a wave, to keep quiet. But is self-censorship a good thing?
            Add to that the surprising epilogue where Vanessa Redgrave confesses her youthful mistakes during a TV show, and you get a film that resonates with your words.

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            • Well, I hope no one’s dying out of the willingness of fans to keep the peace. I try hard to stay out of issues that don’t involve illegality or immorality. I occasionally have gotten involved in things that I consider “bad behavior” and almost always have I regretted it. That said, self-censorship when it comes to things that touch on my creativity is hard on me. I have really issues around not telling the truth, even if I understand very well why people make that choice.

              My coach / therapist for responding to dementia is really big on what she calls “therapeutic lies,” not answering, answering vaguely, or outright lying if necessary to avoid upset. Having been raised the way I was, this is incredibly difficult for me.

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              • Thank you for this answer that globally covers everything I’ve presented

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              • “What upsets me, it’s not that you lied to me is that now I could not believe you anymore.” Friedrich Nietzsche – Source Beyond Good and Evil – Moral Theme – date 1886

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  6. case in point: most recent tweet. Should I really be interested that he’s apparently interested in diet books? Should I be interested in diet books? Am I really going to go there again? Uch. Just don’t, Richard.

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    • Maybe he‘s going to read the audiobook version of it…🙄 Seriously, this kind of endorsement almost puts me off reading his tweets at all. I believe he did that once before, endorsing some kind of Hollywood fitness / dietary Coach. It annoyed me then and it annoys me now. As you say, just don’t, Richard.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I did a bit more research on Dana Cohen’s treatment practices: the stuff she does is tantamount to quackery. Everyone is gonna do what they gotta do but I really wish he wouldn’t advertise this stuff.

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  7. I’ve missed you. Thanks for writing all of this. I really “get” what you are saying, and admire you for always being honest and putting yourself out there. We all change over time. Your description of Twitter struck a chord with me. I recently read something where someone referred to it as a “sewer full of hate,” and thought that was pretty accurate. I’m pleased to read that you will continue to write, and I know I will keep reading because I find you to be one of the most interesting people I’ve ever met!

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    • I’ve been a really wretched friend this year. I’m hoping that we’ve turned a corner with dad — although I am always hoping that, I suppose.

      Some people do okay with Twitter — and before Armitage got on it, it was often interesting. But I think that people who do well with it more or less retreat out of the hashtags they are interested in, and to me that is counter-productive.

      I really appreciate your support.

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  8. I started reading this post thinking it was a goodbye and I’m relieved it isn’t. I don’t mind what you write about as long as you continue in some form – you’ve become a friend over the years and even if we only check in once in a while I would really miss hearing from you.

    A lot of what you say in this post resonates with me but especially point number 3. There’s no actual news these days – just marketing for the newest audiobook or toy. And projects I can’t sum up the energy to be enthusiastic about. However, it’s not just the lack of good projects because in the past we’ve kept the crush alive even in periods where we have heard nothing from the crush ( much of the time TH was filming) – the current culture of social media also puts a dampener on discussion. I was reading one of your threads from the early days ( one about what readers would do if they saw RA in a restaurant) and I was hooting with laughter. The answers were so funny, honest and relatable but I doubt they would be written today and I find that quite sad. I think a lot of us self sensor because we don’t need the aggravation of a fight and I see that in your writing too. And having witnessed some quite appalling behaviour I can’t say I blame you. But I’m glad you are here, writing about whatever you want to write about.

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    • Yeah — I agree that we wouldn’t have had problems with this situation even as recently as five years ago. There were always discussions going on. I think the fact that Armitage is on Twitter draws a lot of the energy away. Fans don’t relate to each other but save their energy for him (a huge waste of time imo because he is so erratic) and there’s also something about the unshielded quality of Twitter. Anyone can easily see what you say. There was something a bit friendlier overall about the atmosphere a few years ago, too.

      I appreciate the support and I would miss you (and other people) too. I think it’s often a dilemma for people who have been active fans — if they leave the Armitage portion of the Internet, do they lose their Armitage friends along with that decision?

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      • “fans don’t relate to each other but save their energy for him”, I’ve never thought about it that way before but it’s true. now that he’s on social media, in the flesh so to speak, fans no longer speculate and talk things out with each other, they just tag him on Twitter and go straight to the source instead.

        you hit the nail on the head in regards to the fear that one may lose their Armitage friends if they quit the Armitage portion of the internet. that was a big struggle for me, when I moved on to a different crush and started blogging about him instead. there was a time when I didn’t actually care what was going on with Richard but I still kept up to date with him so that I wouldn’t lose that core connection to my friends. it was hard to separate all of that, the blogging and the crush and the fandom, to see how I really felt about each of them individually.

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        • Which is their privilege. I don’t understand the appeal but I’ve come to realize recently that in the Richard Armitage religion, I am no fan of immanence. (Hopefully, I’ll now write a post about that.)

          losing friends: I think part of the problem is in the relating to each other on screen. So if we’re no longer on the same screens do we even see each other? Most of my friends have more or less left the fandom. I see Obscura fairly frequently and we hardly ever talk about Armitage, maybe slightly more about the fandom, but we have all these other things in common and reasons to see each other. My very early phase fandom friends have almost all persisted in one way another although the contact is more casual in some cases. A few of them are now regular email correspondents, like we used to have penpals once upon a time. But given how much time gets devoted to fandom, it’s a serious concern. I do think that “my fandom friends” is potentially a separate issue than “the fandom.”

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  9. Good to hear from you again. I think that everyone one of us has to do what is best for each person. Glad that you are going to keep blogging. I tend to be more interested in your personal blog work than what ever project Richard is doing. Nothing has sparked interest in a long time. Not a fan of his social media post either, only know about those from here. Care for a family member can take so much out of a person so make sure you are doing something for you.

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    • Thanks for continuing to be here.

      I don’t know why it’s been more difficult to blog about this situation with dad than it was with mom. Yes, some of it is that when that was happening I was still full pseudonymous, and now I’m not. I think part of it is also that it is so repetitive. I should probably blog when I finally succeed in solving some intransigent problem (like, I just figured out about a month ago how to arrange his pills so he gets the right ones at the right time of day. It was so difficult and I couldn’t figure out why it was turning into such a huge stressor). I do get more time off now — but I realized today that a growing issue is that I’m never in my own space alone. Time for me is practically always time outside the home.

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  10. I will read your blog as long as it exists, on whatever topics you touch on, Richard or no Richard. Hugs and enthusiastic applause.

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  11. I hated the day he joined Twitter.
    Prior to then his comments were humorous and interesting.
    He once gave the excuse of not running his own blog because he would be embargoed from releasing information and by the time he could we would all know from other sources, I think he missed the point. I was hungry for knowledge about his creative process , the back stories he had created, the funny things that may have happened in the course of filming etc.
    I hope you will be able to see Uncle Vanya I have bought two tickets one at the beginning of the run and one towards the end , just to see if any changes are made.

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    • Yeah — there are ways to use Twitter and instagram effectively but he hasn’t figured them out. It frustrates me too because I never wanted him to join Twitter (there’s a post somewhere called “you don’t have to join Twitter for me, Richard Armitage) and now we get flooded with this weird stuff that does little or nothing to enhance either his career or his attractiveness.

      I hope I can see it, too. I’m going to do my damnedest — I feel like something important is hanging in the balance for me and seeing that performance.

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  12. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, I hope you’ll find the way back to flow and honest curiosity, and that when you write, it’ll be because you really want to.
    I hope that will happen, I love reading your posts. I especially appreciate the ones where you explore how you feel about things, because your perspective somehow often triggers things to start processing within myself 🙂
    I really wish you all the best. For you and with your family.

    Hugs/ Eilenna

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    • Thanks. You put your finger on something really important — which is that one consequence of this blog was that I developed a lot of (productive) emotional openness. In my current situation it would really be better if I could allow my emotions less play. I don’t want to lose what i gained from being here, but I also need to survive my everyday life. I hope I can figure it out. Thanks for continuing to read.

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  13. Like the others who commented before me I am glad and thankful that you’re still around and I will continue reading your blogosts as long as you’ll write it!

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  14. Not wasting your time on projects that don’t give you anything – I so hear ya on especially that! As there has been so little Armitage work to get me excited recently (seriously, even more audiobooks? Ugh!) I turn to other things and patiently await a project of his that I can love again. I hope there will be better things to come from him because like you I’m still very much interested in the actor and the man. In any case, just wanna say that I’m glad you’re still sticking around albeit on personally revised ‘ terms’. 🙂

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  15. I am glad there is life in the old dog yet (if you pardon the expression) your voice is needed in the fandom.

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  16. First of all, thanks for such an interesting read, as I went down the rabbit hole of links to your posts from years ago that I hadn’t read! The post about being emotional in acting vs cerebral in general caught my attention, as did the many comments on that post. Thanks, also, for the link love.

    I share what others are saying, that I particularly enjoy reading your posts that are introspective or that explore some aspect of Richard’s acting or of himself as a person. I’m not sure his likely conventionality itself bothers me, so much as when it expresses itself in a priggish way. I think the best parts of your “tangentially related” posts, for me, are often the ones that are not directly related to Richard, but just things that you have read that are worth sharing or topics we have talked about online. So, maybe a different “organizing hunger” could fuel those.

    I too am struggling a bit, in terms of keeping connected to the fandom and maintaining any sort of blogging regularity. It’s funny… when I first started blogging, I couldn’t imagine why someone might want to give it up. Now, unfortunately, I can, for a variety of reasons. In terms of Richard’s projects, I’ve found myself wondering lately (and hopefully no one takes offense at this), whether his acting actually reached its peak with The Crucible. We’re not really seeing much in terms of projects, but some performances like in The Lodge really left me cold. That may be partly due to the projects he is getting, though, so I’m hoping The Stranger will be more impressive. And hopefully the play, for those who get to see it. If I don’t see his acting progress in good roles, then honestly I’m not sure how long my intense interest will last, at this point.

    Right now, I still do have a crush on both Armitage the person and on particular characters. Fanfiction I read is generally RPF or centred on favourite characters. But if we aren’t given many interviews because most of the projects are obscure, it’s hard for me to maintain an interest in the real person.

    Good luck with your manifesto and I look forward to reading whatever interests you enough to write about. I hope things will get easier on the home front.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think what I’m going to do is to try to blog about those “things I think about” or “things we’ve discussed” links as separate issues. It might expand the scope of the blog slightly.

      I suppose how we answer your question about whether he peaked in The Crucible when we see how Uncle Vanya turns out. I think he shines on stage in a way that he does not on screen. But I also know he’s entering a career phase that’s really hard for a lot of male actors. Can’t play 30s anymore, but not ready to play older characters either. I fear we might have a lot of audiobooks in our future and I’m prepared to weather that (although not to listen to all of them) but I do think we’re headed toward five to ten years where there isn’t going to be a lot of note happening for him.

      I always thought I didn’t know why I’d ever stop being a fan and someone told me — this was a long time ago, 2012 maybe? that she felt the biggest reason was disappointment in the arc of his career: that he’d had ambition to do all these grand things but his actual production ended up being in inferior projects and you can only watch / consume so much of that. I am starting to understand that better. I don’t really want to blog about film, per se, but I’ve seen several really good films this year and every time I kind of have a feeling of “why doesn’t Armitage get this kind of work?”

      Thanks for your support and the conversation we had recently and for prompting me to get off my *ss and write. That’s the most important outcome for me: that words keep flowing.

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      • Interesting comments, as I was pondering this same thought yesterday. I wondered if The Hobbit turned out to be a big mistake and he would have been better off professionally if he had continued on the TV series path? If the expectation had been that The Hobbit would be a springboard to other film roles, it seems to have failed spectacularly. His role in The Stranger may be an entryway back into television, or maybe he will pursue stage work more vigorously? In either case it certainly seems that film is not happening for him.

        Or maybe you are correct that his age is now a limiting factor in roles? Maybe it’s a combination of both?

        Either way, glad you’re sticking around, serv. I always look forward to your posts, whether they are richard-related or not

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        • I think the concrete question is probably — what would have happened if he’d stuck with Strike Back in its transition from Sky to Cinemaxx? Would he have become a household name in the US (as Andrew Lincoln did, who went from Strike Back to Walking Dead)? I don’t know (or whether Armitage would have been able to stand being in the US permutation of the series, which was so different). There’s an argument he was overexposed on UK TV with two prime time series operating simultaneously.

          I’m glad you’re still here, after all these years!

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          • I’m afraid you’re stuck with me!

            Re the cinemax situation: I’m glad he got out of that, but Andrew Lincoln is a good example of an actor who transitioned from British TV/film (Love Actually anyone?) to a hugely successful US series. Could RA have done the same? Possibly, if he had chosen that route instead of The Hobbit. But who knows how much luck or right place/right time plays into casting? It’s all woulda, coulda, shoulda at this point, but it would have been interesting to see what would have happened if he had made other choices.

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      • I’m glad you’ve been prompted to write again and if I played a part in that. I really appreciate our recent conversation as well.

        I’m sure his age will have an impact on the roles he is offered. And I also think that if you can’t cultivate those mainstream contacts (or even leverage them once you have them), it’s hard to get the big roles. I used to think that I might not be as big a fan, though, if he became a household name — there’s something about being part of a smaller group of fans — but some recognition is important in getting the roles. Unless of course he begins now to focus on the British scene of theatre, BBC, and Netflix. That might be a good career path for him. 5-10 years? Yikes! Well, we’ll see. I hope Uncle Vania is good and that Richard is just as impressive as in The Crucible. And that they film it for broadcast!

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        • it’s hard to be the fan of someone who’s so difficult to catch on screen.

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        • 🙂 La particularité des acteurs anglais est que leur excellente formation leur permet une grande polyvalence. Leurs revenus financiers sont alors plus faciles à maintenir, à un niveau correct. Ainsi, ils peuvent en vivre décemment. Sans compter que la trilogie du Hobbit doit être encore toujours rémunératrice.

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  17. Diet books, really? You can follow his path and change your blog’s name in “me – Richard Armitage: I’ve lost 160 lbs in five minutes, ask me how!”
    Here, in the very edge of the empire, I’ve fangirled alone for the most part of my life: no internet, no silly tv shows, almost
    no interviews: only the raw work of my celebrity crushes. Raw happiness.
    I’ve never enjoined a fandom, they look to much like an eternal middle school. I didn’t dismiss RA because you and Guylty (my only gates to this specific fandom) are wonderful per se. I like James Cromwell a lot, and his career took off when he was 50; if RA is not a total moron he can do better ageing. I still feel something looking RA face, but every little work done erase it from me, so I don’t feel optimistic.

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    • Maybe HE should write a diet book. He seems to be great at losing weight.

      And good point about Cromwell.

      re: fandom — there’s a paragraph in the original draft of this that I should maybe publish separately (this got really long) about whether one can be a fan without fandom. Several of Armitage’s fans have said over the years “I’m still a fan of Armitage but I am leaving the fandom.” I understood this initially to mean they were leaving the fandom sites, social media, etc., but that’s apparently not what’s meant as they’ve continued their visible involvement. It’s something I wonder about.

      I have always separated periodic fan drama from what you’re describing: the middle school dynamic. But you’re right and I think it’s more powerful than I realized initially. There was a point in 2016 where a fellow fan was pressuring me to do something and I refused point blank. I remember thinking at the time “there will be consequences for this” but I underestimated them. Which is fine. I still wouldn’t have behaved as requested. But I do increasingly feel like we’re in middle school; it seems more apparent to me as time wears on.

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      • regarding leaving the fandom but still staying a fan: for me personally, my intent was to stop interacting about Armitage and to stop staying informed of fandom matters, to just follow along with Richard’s comings and goings myself at a less intense level. but since I still read a couple of blogs that blogged about him/fandom, that was easier said than done. logically, if I truly wanted to quit fandom, I would break all ties and only follow Richard through published entertainment news. Richard’s own social media presence is fandom too, so that would have to be dropped as well. at the present time I don’t follow his social media but I am still part of ‘fandom’ since I occasionally blog about him and read a few blogs that primarily post about him. I’m no longer hung up on the fandom label though 🙂

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        • I think once one has been really interested in following someone, the entertainment press is pretty disappointing. The fandom discussions take on interest in themselves to some extent. Or one knows there is more information elsewhere. So many times I’ve read an article in the entertainment press and thought “wow, I already know more about this thing than Entertainment Weekly.”

          Liked by 1 person

      • I think absolutely one can be a fan without the fandom. I enjoy the camaraderie, and sometimes RA features little in this, but I spent many years quietly ogling Armitage without using social-media, and the limited exposure to him, without discussions etc, the distance, helped the allure – unsurprisingly.

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        • I think one absolutely can, too — but being a fan without the fandom implies detaching completely from it. I think there are plenty of people, too, who go on to fangirl privately and just stay away from the fandom. Which makes sense to me. What I don’t get is people who say “I’m not a part of the fandom” but then they do things that put them in the middle of a fandom. I get the conflict. If you’re writing (or aggregating information), you’re writing for someone — presumably other fans.

          Liked by 1 person

      • Well, I’m in the fandom, because I like fellow fans! I think RA was sincere when he said he was boring. I don’t care, he’s a good actor, and in a world full of incompetent scumbags, also in crucial places, I find it oddly comforting. Idk why for my other crushes I prefer solitary fangirling. I put my eyes on Michael Sheen when he did The Queen. At least RA was not involved in Twilight Saga. Sheen was Aro: red eyes, ugly whig, weird make up, shitty character. Michael, love, why? And now, after Good Omens, everybody loves him, and I’m so happy and proud – but never, never in all these years I thought to look for fellow fans. Odd.

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        • It’s not that I don’t like (many) fellow fans — it’s that the fandom (as I perceive it) and I have radically different interests at the moment.

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  18. I really don’t come here very often nowadays, seems I fell head over heels into the Fandom and just as quickly out of it again, when real life got really overwhelming.
    We had a conversation about drastic changes in our life situations afoot, you and I, about 4 years ago. I’m not sure if you remember. I think at one point you wrote something like ‘so do you think I would quit blogging?’ Reading your post today instantly reminded me of this. I think you and your blog have long evolved beyond the fandom. I certainly don’t drop in here occasionally because of the Armitage, but because of you. And I don’t think, I’m the only one. How you put your thoughts and real life struggles in words and your openness about it all, create a huge pull. I hope you keep on blogging and you shouldn’t be self-censoring yourself.

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    • It was certainly a whirlwind moment, when you appeared!

      Funny to think about that time now. Life has been so erratic since then. I honestly thought, around 2006, that I was set up to have a pleasantly regular life but that sure hasn’ thappened. For you either, I guess.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, a lot has happened and still many things are about to change in the next two to three years or so. I’m afraid I’m somehow constantly failing at ‘regular’. 😉
        Take care, Serv and keep on taking time for yourself.

        Liked by 1 person

  19. I was positively surprised to see your blog post today since I was not sure if you have quit the fandom at all.
    For me being a fan for almost 5 years, these are difficult times, too. His current projects are somehow weird, audiobooks doesn’t interest me at all,
    and his social media activities are at least boring. In all this time I could not get a glimpse of the real person behind the actor and this is quite sad.

    I will watch ‘My Zoe’ because it is a rare opportunity to see him on the big screen and I think I’ll get to London next spring to see ‘Uncle Vanya’. But not only because of him but of all the other people collaborating with him. And this is the thing I am grateful of. Having a close look on Richard and his career I got to know lots of other excellent actors and actresses whose work I estimate. Somehow my crush on him widened my horizon for movies altogether.
    The last point I will mention is “it’s funny how life’s turns out” since ‘Rocketman’ ignites me in the same way Thorin Oakenshield did in Dec 2014.
    Thank you for still blogging, Servetus, and lots of strength for the struggle at home.

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    • October was bitter. A big piece of it was the constant emotional exhaustion — we had to replace the washing machine, that led to major conflict with dad, he demolished part of the laundry room and then wouldn’t let anyone in to repair it so we could install the washing machine — then all of that sort of pushed my brother and me to advance the assisted living discussion, and that brought its own series of problems in its wake. It just ate up hours and hours. But it also woke me up a bit to the reality of the situation I’m in.

      So interesting about your reaction to Rocketman! I might write about it more, too. Really knocked me for a loop.

      Thanks for the comment and good wishes.

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  20. Thank you for this post. As someone else pointed out above I first thought it would be a good-bye. I´m relatively new to the fandom compared to you and some other alte Hasen. Actually I can´t imagine how it must have been to be a fan in times when you got regularly new material delivered. Audio books do nothing for me (which might sound strange as it was his voice that brought me here in the first place). So right now I hope I get the chance to see My Zoe (even though I´m not too enthusiastic about it) and I´m really, really looking forward to see Uncle Vanya. I really hope you´ll have the chance to see the play as well. I´ve started to re-read your Crucible posts recently and would be delighted to read similar analysis about Uncle Vanya.
    Even though not being around for so long I could see the changes in your blogging habits. I can totally understand the reasons for it but I still think it´s a pity. Anyway, I´m glad you´ll keep on blogging (be it about Richard or something else) although in a somehow different way.

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    • We did have big “droughts” in the past (all of 2011 and most of 2012, for instance) but they were really silent — not the dribble of marketing and no audiobooks in that phase. But we did have the Hobbit to hope for.

      Make sure you let us know what you thought of My Zoe. If I do get to London I will try to write that kind of thing again.

      Thanks for your kind words.

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  21. Thanks for writing this. I found your blog in the last year or so. I was searching on RA after (finally) watching North & South on Netflix. I have read lots of older posts and definitely everything since I came across the blog. I must admit I was ignorant to the entire fandom world and don’t really follow much of it, but I truly appreciate your thoughtfulness, unique point of view, and openness – about RA and so many other things. You’ve have made me think about things in ways I wouldn’t have otherwise. Though I don’t even know you, I have felt like you are a friend (I’m sorry if that seems very strange!) So I guess I came for RA, but stayed for you. Thanks again. I am wishing you all the best!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think that’s an effect of blogging, and one reason why people read them (the alien perspective). I am often just trying really hard to keep my s*** together. So I’m really glad you’re still reading!

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